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Ipsos-Reid poll: Over half of Canadians say they or their family have needed blood
Less than four per cent of eligible population donated blood last year

Ottawa, September 8, 2005 – According to a new Ipsos-Reid survey, 52 per cent of Canadians say they or a family member have needed blood or blood products for surgery or for medical treatment.

The survey, conducted on behalf of Canadian Blood Services, found that 15 per cent of Canadians say they personally have needed blood or blood products for surgery or for medical treatment, and another 37 per cent say that a member of their family has needed blood or blood products.

Moreover, it is likely that this finding understates the actual need for blood since Canadians are not always aware that the treatments of certain diseases or medical conditions such as cancer, major surgery, or liver disease, includes the use of blood or blood products. The Ipsos-Reid poll found that 75 per cent of Canadians have either personally or know of a family member, friend or neighbour who has been in a medical or health situation where they likely needed blood or blood products.

“These numbers show how widely and deeply Canadians are affected by the need for blood and by the work of Canadian Blood Services,” said Mike Colledge, Senior Vice President and Managing Director of Ipsos-Reid.

“On average, every minute of every day a blood product is needed by someone in Canada,” said Dr. Graham Sher, Chief Executive Officer of Canadian Blood Services. “A cancer patient in Halifax who needs platelets, a burn victim in Toronto requiring plasma, a bone marrow recipient in the Prairies or a patient undergoing a hip replacement surgery in Vancouver needing red blood cells, are all linked by the universal cause of blood donation.”

Despite the number of people who are touched by the need for blood, less than four per cent of the eligible population donated blood last year.

“In addition to our every day heroes who already donate blood, we need an estimated 80,000 new donors this year to build a long-lasting and sufficient donor base. This should be a wake-up call for more Canadians to become a part of social change by making blood donation a part of their lives -- starting now. Consider it your contribution towards ensuring a safe supply of blood for your loved ones when they need it,” said Dr. Sher.

As the summer winds down and we set our priorities for the fall, ask yourself: Have I given blood in the past year? If you haven’t, and you can, please call 1 888 2 DONATE (1 888 236-6283) and book an appointment today. While all blood types are needed, there is a special need for O negative donors at this time. Your donation can directly improve or even save the lives of three people.

About the Ipsos-Reid survey
The Ipsos-Reid survey was conducted from August 3 to August 10, 2005. For the survey, a representative randomly selected sample of 1,000 adult Canadians (excluding Quebec which is not serviced by Canadian Blood Services) were interviewed by telephone. With a sample of this size, the results are considered accurate to within ± 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

About Canadian Blood Services
Canadian Blood Services is a national, not-for-profit charitable organization that manages the blood supply in all provinces and territories outside of Quebec and oversees the country's Unrelated Bone Marrow Donor Registry. Canadian Blood Services operates 41 permanent collection sites and more than 19,000 donor clinics annually. The Provincial and Territorial Ministers of Health provide operational funding to Canadian Blood Services. The federal government, through Health Canada, is responsible for regulating the blood system. For more information, please visit the website at www.bloodservices.ca.

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For further information, please contact:
Derek Mellon
Media Room Relations Manager
Canadian Blood Services
(613) 739-2177
derek.mellon@blood.ca

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